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Cross-border Ecommerce - The Paypers

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The Cross-Border Ecommerce Community (CBEC) enables Merchants, Payment Service Providers, ISOs and Acquiring Banks to access valuable content about mature and developing markets that can support strategic decision-making. Read more

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United Arab Emirates

Mobile commerce and online shopper behaviour in United Arab Emirates

Read below more about ecommerce growth, ecommerce sales and cross-border ecommerce in the UAE

Detailed information to be found in the Cross-border Ecommerce Report – UAE

Total Population
- 9.4 million
Age Breakdown
- 61.5% of the population in the UAE are between 25 and 54
- The majority of inhabitants of the UAE are Muslim, at 76%
Urban Population
- 85%
Internet Penetration
- 75%
Mobile Penetration
- 192.9%
- 16 million active mobile subscribers
Tablet Penetration
- 35%
Smartphone Penetration
- 78%
Online Shoppers
- 7.7 million
Ecommerce Sales
- USD 2.5 billion
Ecommerce Penetration
- 83%
Ecommerce CAGR (2012 – 2013)
- 21.8%
Mobile Commerce
- USD 1.3 million
- Mobile commerce in the UAE is expected to increase to USD 1.3 bln over the next 5 years.
- 40% to 50% of the sales on, the most popular website in UAE, are made through mobile devices
Mobile OS platforms
- The majority of smartphones used in the UAE are Android (51%)

Cross-border Ecommerce Opportunities

• The majority of UAE shoppers (60%) buy from other countries online
• Cross-border ecommerce is distributed among the US (35%), Asia (30%), Europe (25%) and 10% is inside the MENA region
• The top countries that UAE online shoppers opt to buy from are the US (30%), the UK (18%) and India (18%)
• Preferred product categories for cross-border shopping are travel and transportation products from overseas websites (43%), followed by clothing / apparel, footwear and accessories (40%)
• Free shipping is a main contributing factor to shopping from other countries, as well as safe payment methods. Products unavailable domestically is only third in priority

Language as a Key Driver

• The official language, and the native language of UAE citizens, is Arabic. The majority of the population speaks English, however, and it is considered the common language, despite having no official status
• The UAE has a very diverse population, of which only 13% are UAE nationals. The UAE has the highest net migration rate in the world at 21.71 %
• An estimated 83.5% of the UAE population is made up by expats
• Other main languages spoken are Persian, Hindi and Urdu

Read the complete text (including sources) about mobile commerce, online shopper behaviour, ecommerce growth, ecommerce sales, cross-border ecommerce in the UAE in the downloadable country report.